Karolinska Institutet, Institutionen för neurobiologi, vårdvetenskap och samhälle

The Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society (NVS) conducts world leading research in aging, dementia, epidemiology and care sciences. This research extends from basic molecular and cell levels to clinical research and societal studies. NVS educates almost a third of KI students at basic and advanced levels. The Department has approximately 450 employees and a revenue 2017 of 470 million SEK. It comprises eight divisions, located at Campus Flemingsberg and Campus Solna.

The Doctoral School of Health Care Sciences at Karolinska Institutet
The Doctoral School of Health Care Sciences co-finances PhD students during four-year full-time studies. The doctoral students are offered a coherent structure of courses and targeted activities throughout their doctoral education. The aim is to strengthen scientific research at doctoral education in health care sciences and to promote high quality care research in close relations to health care. The focus is not on specific occupational groups but on interdisciplinary and multiple academic disciplines. The graduate school was established following a decision by the Board of Doctoral Education (FUS) 2009-03-05 and is placed at the Department of NVS. For more information about the Doctoral School of Health Sciences, see http://ki.se/nvs/forskolani-vitenskapsvetenskap-fiv (only in Swedish)

We are recruiting a student for doctoral education. After a candidate is selected, an admission process commences. The candidate is admitted as a student once an individual study plan for the doctoral education has been approved by the departmental admission board.  

For more information regarding doctoral (PhD) education, see: http://www.ki.se/doctoral

Research group
The doctoral student position is a joint position between the Innovative Care division, Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics  (registering department) and the Cancer Proteomics Mass Spectrometry group at Science for Life Laboratory/Department of Oncology-Pathology, Karolinska Institutet.

The Innovative Care division, with about 20 people, focuses on conducting high quality, health care science-relevant research through multi-disciplinary collaboration, and on improving its translation into practice by linking research, education and practice. A common focus among researchers in our group has been on studying experiences of different aspects of cancer, HIV and other potentially life-threatening but often long-lasting conditions, along the sickness trajectory from risk through diagnosis and treatment, through palliative and end-of-life care.

The Cancer Proteomics Mass Spectrometry group develop and use proteomics methods to improve personalised cancer therapy. Proteomics is a research field aiming to study global changes in a proteome, for example, to determine the function of a specific protein in the context of a biological network. We are currently engaged in method development projects to improve tissue and plasma proteomics that will be used for biomarker research to discover and validate predictive markers.

The doctoral education project and the duties of the student
Late diagnosis is one of the major reasons for high lung cancer (LC) mortality. New transdisciplinary and innovative efforts are needed to improve early detection of LC. In this project we use an innovative design to integrate nursing, translational/biobehavioral and omics research to obtain a more holistic view in an effort to facilitate early diagnosis of lung cancer. In earlier stages of this project, we developed a new tablet-based interactive questionnaire based on subjective, narrative data from people under evaluation for lung cancer, to analyse early symptoms potentially related to LC. We then used this instrument to collect a population-based dataset from a new cohort of people under evaluation for suspected LC (n~700). We simultaneously collected plasma samples to allow data about the experienced and the biological body to be linked to enable cutting edge discovery research aiming at earlier diagnosis. The combined dataset of molecular profiling with patient-reported data will also be used in efforts to generate new knowledge about symptoms and their management and to discover markers for treatment monitoring. Establishing symptomatology related to early LC can: decrease diagnostic delay, with increased chance of curative treatment options and shorter time spans to curative or palliative treatment, thus reducing distress for patients and their families; connect detailed symptom data with omics research to increase understanding of biological mechanisms of poorly understood symptoms.

To this project, we now seek a highly motivated doctoral student with a background in care and bio-sciences or with a background in bio-science and interest in its link with healthcare science. The project involves laboratory based analysis of plasma markers both with global methods and directed analysis using antibody or MS-based methods. Intended research tasks also involve data-analysis of patient-reported symptom data and collected clinical and biomarker data generated from the cohort. The results will be presented in scientific publications and conferences, hence the learning outcomes involve scientific writing and communication.

Entry requirements for doctoral education at KI
To be eligible for doctoral education following requirements has to be met:

General entry requirements
A person meets the general entry requirements for doctoral/third-cycle/PhD education (according to Higher Education Ordinance Chapt 7, section 39) if he/she:

  1. has been awarded advanced/second-cycle/master qualification (i.e. master degree) or
  2. has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second-cycle/master level, or
  3. has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

Specific entry requirements
Proficiency in English equivalent to the course English B/English 6 at Swedish upper secondary school:
Proficiency in the English language can be documented by an internationally recognized test such as TOEFL or IELTS, see web-link below for more information.
Applicants who meet the general entry requirements (1 or 2 above) from a university in one of the Nordic countries fulfill the requirements in English.

For more information regarding general and specific entry requirements: http://ki.se/en/education/entry-requirements-eligibility-for-doctoral-education

  • Dual background in nursing (or other relevant healthcare science) and biosciences; alternatively background in bioscience with strong, preferably documented, interest in its link to healthcare science
  • Experience in laboratory work and interest in bioinformatics
  • Experience/willingness to learn design, data collection and analysis of studies involving patient reported outcomes and biomarker outcomes
  • Fluent English, oral and written

Skills and personal qualities

  • Documented collaborative and didactic skills
  • Ability to work independently and take own initiatives
  • Excellent communication skills and analytical skills


  • Experience from translational or multi-disciplinary research
  • Knowledge in statistics and bioinformatics
  • Experience in teaching and communication

Assessment criteria
A selection will be made among qualified applicants on the basis of the ability to benefit from doctoral education. Karolinska Institutet uses the following bases of assessment:
- Documented subject knowledge of relevance to the area of research
- Analytical skill
- Other documented knowledge or experience that may be relevant to doctoral studies in the subject

The qualifications of the applicants will be evaluated on an overall basis.

Terms and conditions
All doctoral students at KI receive financial support during their doctoral education and employment on a doctoral studentship is the most common sort of support. During the time between recruitment and admission a short-term employment can be offered for up to 6 months.

Application process
An application must contain the following documents in Swedish or English:

  • A personal letter and curriculum vitae
  • A copy of degree certificates and associated certificates
  • A copy of degree projects and any previous publications

The application is to be submitted through the Varbi recruitment system.

Type of employment PhD placement
Contract type Full time
Reference number 2-5933/2017
  • Lars E Eriksson, Senior lecturer, lars.eriksson@ki.se, 08-524 838 31
  • Anna-Maria Loimi, Coordinator FiV, anna-maria.loimi@ki.se, 08-524 864 36
  • Mona Hellstadius, HR supervisor, mona.hellstadius@ki.se, 08-524 868 14
Union representative
  • Agneta Öhlen, SACO, 08-524 837 53, Agneta.Ohlen@ki.se
  • Carina Dahlin, OFR , 08-524 836 92
  • Henry Wölling, SEKO, henry.wolling@ki.se
Published 18.Dec.2017
Last application date 19.Feb.2018 11:59 PM CET

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